A $1 billion financing deal with two Chinese firms promises Viacom’s struggling Paramount Pictures some much-needed funds and a foothold in the world’s second-largest box-office market. Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media will invest in all Paramount movies over the three-year agreement, the companies said Thursday. The companies will finance at least 25% of every Paramount movie and maintain an office on the Paramount lot, The Wall Street Journal reports. Last year, Paramount came close to selling a 49% stake in the studio to China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co. After that deal fell through due to collapsing support among Viacom board members, the company pursued a financing deal so it could afford to increase the number of movies it produces, according to a person familiar with the deal.
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